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UAD cards are ridiculously overpriced
Old 27th November 2011
  #1
UAD cards are ridiculously overpriced

I really love the UAD plug-ins I have, but I'm limping along with a single UAD-1. So I start looking around and thinking of upgrading. I had never really looked into the new price of the UAD2 cards, but now that I have I'm dumbfounded and am pretty sure this is one of the biggest rip-offs in the industry. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the cards themselves, but only the bloated pricing.

The UAD2 solo has one DSP, priced at $400, then you add one more $25 DSP to make it a DUO and the price goes to $900, then add two more DSP's and the price goes to $1500. So in terms of parts cost the difference between the SOLO and QUAD is less than $100 (I'm sure there's other associated manufacturing costs, but it definitely doesn't justify this huge price jump).

I know some people will say... "Yeah, but think about how much all the hardware would be if you bought all those Neves, etc", but that's hardly the point. If the SOLO is $400, then at the outside the DUO should be $600 and the QUAD $900.

If anyone from UAD reads this I say, keep up the good work, but there's no way in hell I'm paying your prices (even though I can afford it), I'll just buy a SOLO or DUO used and pay the price I should be paying for a new one. You would be well advised to lower your hardware prices and sell more plugs.
Old 27th November 2011
  #2
It's a very limited market and the higher end the card, the lower the market still. It has zip to do with manufacturing costs, it's what you have to charge to justify being in the business at all, or creating the higher end versions of products at all. And being in the music production plugin business at all is probably at best a fairly iffy proposition, even if you have a strong copy protection scheme as UAD's.

Does it really cost, say, over twice as much to build a Corvette Z* models than their regular models? Probably not, but it's also probably not worth doing it unless they charge a lot more because the market for the regular models is already heading towards the small end of the price/performance curve. If they don't make more (not less) profit on the higher end cars, it may be a losing proposition to even make them.
Old 27th November 2011
  #3
Everything in the world is ridiculously overpriced
Old 27th November 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
 
DaveC's Avatar
 

Quote:
I know some people will say... "Yeah, but think about how much all the hardware would be if you bought all those Neves, etc",
Whoever will come up with that statement clearly
has no clue what Neve, SSL, API and the likes actually sound like.
I think UAD is ridiculously overrated.
Anyone who will fork over those amounts of
money for a couple of outdated dsp-chips, thinking
it will be an extension of high end hardware,
is ridiculously stupid or ignorant.
Old 27th November 2011
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
It's a very limited market and the higher end the card, the lower the market still. It has zip to do with manufacturing costs, it's what you have to charge to justify being in the business at all, or creating the higher end versions of products at all. And being in the music production plugin business at all is probably at best a fairly iffy proposition, even if you have a strong copy protection scheme as UAD's.

Does it really cost, say, over twice as much to build a Corvette Z* models than their regular models? Probably not, but it's also probably not worth doing it unless they charge a lot more because the market for the regular models is already heading towards the small end of the price/performance curve. If they don't make more (not less) profit on the higher end cars, it may be a losing proposition to even make them.
Hi Dean,

Thank you for your knowledgeable perspective. I'm quite sure that you have a better idea of the inner workings of companies such as these than I do.

I had more or less thought about this possibility, but we're not talking about a $4500 compressor that is only available at select dealers. These cards are available from all of the world's largest gear dealers which is seemingly indicative that they are moving fairly large numbers.

I'm sure Universal Audio spends tons of money on R&D and I'm pretty sure they don't have a multi-billion $ company. It just seems that they would sell more plugs if more people could afford the hardware. It just seems to me that the bulk of their business must be plugs and actual studio hardware, not the computer hardware.

Anyway... with all the subjects I could have picked, I'm starting to wonder why I picked a company that I have respect for, both currently and historically. I guess I'm just a cheap SOB.

Best Regards,

John
Old 27th November 2011
  #6
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krheatman's Avatar
With my tracking/mixing xp machine,
I do very large projects still with great results using UAD plugins and Cubase 5.I have a Quad and a couple UAD 1's.
I have a Duo in my mastering rig
with Windows 7 and Wavelab 7 and Cubase 6.

Best sounding plugins I own.
Worth every penny IMHO.
Good stuff is not cheap.
My BAE 1023 sounds awesome and was not cheap.The list goes on.


Sent from my PC36100 using Gearslutz.com
Old 27th November 2011
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by krheatman View Post
With my tracking/mixing xp machine,
I do very large projects still with great results using UAD plugins and Cubase 5.I have a Quad and a couple UAD 1's.
I have a Duo in my mastering rig
with Windows 7 and Wavelab 7 and Cubase 6.

Best sounding plugins I own.
Worth every penny IMHO.
Good stuff is not cheap.
My BAE 1023 sounds awesome and was not cheap.The list goes on.


Sent from my PC36100 using Gearslutz.com

Again, I AM NOT ARGUING THE MERITS OF UAD PRODUCTS, I AM A BIG FAN. I do agree with the previous poster that the plugs don't exactly match the actual hardware versions, but for most of us, it's as close as we're going to get in our home studios.

My argument is the price discrepancy between the different cards.
Let's say the UAD-2 solo costs $200 to manufacture then we add a generous $100 per extra DSP. This would mean manufacturing the DUO would be $300 and the QUAD $500. This is a very generous estimate too as the DSP's are probably $20 or less in larger quantities. So in essence, the SOLO has a 100% mark-up and the DUO/QUAD has a 300% mark-up.

So either Dean Roddey's statements above are true or UA is simply banking on us Slutz being able to justify any expense.
Old 27th November 2011
  #8
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krheatman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbgear View Post
Again, I AM NOT ARGUING THE MERITS OF UAD PRODUCTS, I AM A BIG FAN. I do agree with the previous poster that the plugs don't exactly match the actual hardware versions, but for most of us, it's as close as we're going to get in our home studios.

My argument is the price discrepancy between the different cards.
Let's say the UAD-2 solo costs $200 to manufacture then we add a generous $100 per extra DSP. This would mean manufacturing the DUO would be $300 and the QUAD $500. This is a very generous estimate too as the DSP's are probably $20 or less in larger quantities. So in essence, the SOLO has a 100% mark-up and the DUO/QUAD has a 300% mark-up.

So either Dean Roddey's statements above are true or UA is simply banking on us Slutz being able to justify any expense.
What I did was waited and bought the card when they were having a plugin deal I wanted.If you get the card with the flex plan then you get a certain amount of to apply toward plugins.
I also traded in in one of my old cards for credit which helped pay for it at JRR Shop.
They are expensive,but so are most good things in audio.You might be able to get a better deal off ebay or even on here if you watch for it.

I was ticked off at UAD as a UAD 1 owner mainly due to the lack of plugin instances.Now with a quad I run big projects with ease.

Good Luck,maybe you will find a deal.
And to the other poster who thinks I am stupid and ignorant,I am sure you would have voted in Obama too!
You don't know what you are talking about.I use them on a daily basis and they are not only great sounding but with the card,it takes a big load off my machine.
Old 27th November 2011
  #9
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jeremy.c.'s Avatar
Dean is probably right as usual, but it's all about R&D these days, one end is subsidizing the other. The true cost is probably in the middle somewhere and the weaker cheaper cards are getting offset by the quad cards as a taste to get in to the product line.
These types of threads are understandable but ultimately border on silly. UA sells their product for a price that balances the market and their costs. When you buy a card you aren't just buying processing power, you're buying into a profitable and balanced business model that ensures the company will be around to support your next OS update.
As a former user of Tascam's gigsastudio I can tell you firsthand how important it is to have a company make a product that is usable into the near future and how ridiculously expensive it is when they don't.
Old 27th November 2011
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremy.c. View Post
Dean is probably right as usual, but it's all about R&D these days, one end is subsidizing the other. The true cost is probably in the middle somewhere and the weaker cheaper cards are getting offset by the quad cards as a taste to get in to the product line.
These types of threads are understandable but ultimately border on silly. UA sells their product for a price that balances the market and their costs. When you buy a card you aren't just buying processing power, you're buying into a profitable and balanced business model that ensures the company will be around to support your next OS update.
As a former user of Tascam's gigsastudio I can tell you firsthand how important it is to have a company make a product that is usable into the near future and how ridiculously expensive it is when they don't.
Ok, it didn't occur to me that the lower priced cards might be subsidized by the higher priced. Jeremy C, I agree, this is a ridiculous thread. In the time I spent thinking about this I probably could have figured out how to make the money to buy one. This is the result of too much time on a quiet Saturday night where I create and respond to ridiculous threads.

Thanks Jeremy and Dean for your informed and concise assessments.
Old 27th November 2011
  #11
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jeremy.c.'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbgear View Post
Ok, it didn't occur to me that the lower priced cards might be subsidized by the higher priced. Jeremy C, I agree, this is a ridiculous thread. In the time I spent thinking about this I probably could have figured out how to make the money to buy one. This is the result of too much time on a quiet Saturday night where I create and respond to ridiculous threads.

Thanks Jeremy and Dean for your informed and concise assessments.
I don't think it's ridiculous per say... heh
I understand your frustration. I bought a quad card when they did the bait and switch on "upgrading" the UAD-1 plugins... shameful. All in all I'm happy I own one, I really find their plugins extremely useful. I would say though short of running a Studer on every channel I find my quad overkill (I don't own the Studer btw, just an example for those who would). I like the occasional reverb and I use their comps almost exclusively, but mainly if I'm using enough plugins to max out a quad card I'm using too much processing and I need to pull the project back a bit.

This is a rule of thumb of course, and I do use the Fatso frequently, though I haven't bought the Manley yet, we'll see once I own that plugin how close to the ceiling i get...
Old 27th November 2011
  #12
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T_R_S's Avatar
are there not plug-ins that come with the Quad that are not included with the Duo or Solo?
I am not 100% on this but I thought the plug-in bundles are different from one card to another.
Old 27th November 2011
  #13
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Bread, also, is often overpriced.
Old 27th November 2011
  #14
Gear Guru
 
Animus's Avatar
 

It would have been nice if they kept the card prices lower to entice people to the platform and made their money off the plugins, or vice versa. Right now UAD plugin prices are ever increasing and the dsp hardware becoming increasingly obsolete. Just goes to show that no piracy doesn't equal lower prices as people always claim, they equal higher prices. I love my 2 UAD2 Quads and mostly use them for the tape emus and a few Massive Passives, the special processing stuff, but have been mainly using native stuff nowadays and will rarely buy any more UAD plugs.
Old 28th November 2011
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by offki View Post
Bread, also, is often overpriced.
And let's not even get into high end call girls and blow, which are very difficult to support on today's reduced recording budgets.
Old 28th November 2011
  #16
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famousbass's Avatar
 

It's too bad music is an expensive business... always has been, always will be.
Old 28th November 2011
  #17
...and yet, you can get a duo thrown in free when you buy a 610 preamp.
Old 28th November 2011
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Now that everybody is hooked on there Plugins they slowly up the price.

I bought a uad 1 plus most of the Plugins for $1,100,I think it was called the universal pack?

At any rate it pays to get there lowest card just to access what I already have!

But when I did buy the cheapest card(uad 2 solo) I got a free emu 250 and $50 voucher making the card almost free!

Do I can't complain....

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Old 28th November 2011
  #19
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by mixonlyITB View Post
Now that everybody is hooked on there Plugins they slowly up the price.

I bought a uad 1 plus most of the Plugins for $1,100,I think it was called the universal pack?

At any rate it pays to get there lowest card just to access what I already have!

But when I did buy the cheapest card(uad 2 solo) I got a free emu 250 and $50 voucher making the card almost free!

Do I can't complain....

Sent from my PC36100 using Gearslutz.com
I just picked up 2 UAD 1's for £100.. I'm not complaining
Old 28th November 2011
  #20
Gear Addict
I don't feel like the cards are over priced. They make a product and they need to make money on it. They had develop the card and pay those engineers, manufacture, provide support and write updates. The dealers who sell these cards need to make money too. They have the right to charge whatever they want and if nobody buys it than the price will go down or they would stop making them. But people do buy it, I bought a quad card and over a dozen of their plugs in the last year. One solid week of mixing and it was payed for. Tools that I use every day that sound great.

Also keep in mind that if these cards sold like TV's they would be like 100 bucks.

I have no issue or gripe paying 1500 bucks for a quad card that allows me another creative tool to make money using. JMHO
Old 28th November 2011
  #21
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by hello people View Post
Everything in the world is ridiculously overpriced
No, everybody is just grossly underpaid :-)
Old 28th November 2011
  #22
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_Ludovico's Avatar
 

I also think the cards themselves are really expensive, wether they're worth it or not I have yet to find.

However, as someone mentionned, you can get free cards when buying la-610 units, so I would rather benefit from these specials.

Earlier this year, they gave up a uad2 QUAD when buying an la-610 mkII. Now it's a DUO, but I can totally see the quad coming back after Christmas...

In both cases, you just get that package even if you don't need the preamp, which you can resell at a good price since it's basically unused.

It is also hard to say when they'll come up with the next gen of these cards. I don't know how much time there was between the release of the UAD1 and the UAD2, but the UAD2 has been out for some time already. So i'm guessing were not too far from away UAD3.. But that's only pure guessing. If it happens, you can bet the UAD2 cards will sell alot cheaper. And since they do provide significant processing power already, they will represent a good deal... Unless UA comes up with something so hot that nobody will want their UAD2's anymore...
Old 28th November 2011
  #23
Lives for gear
 

I'm waiting for the thunderbolt version, so I wouldn't mess with the iMacs firewire.

k
Old 28th November 2011
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulata View Post
I'm waiting for the thunderbolt version, so I wouldn't mess with the iMacs firewire.

k
And that's another reason for the cost. There would be no extra costs involved in a native product for such a thing. But once you make the decision to go DSP, you are sort of entering an arms race that you can't get out of. People will be screaming probably for a thunderbolt version and they'll be getting constantly slagged for not doing it and for dragging their feet, as was the case with getting their V2 hardware out there.
Old 29th November 2011
  #25
Lives for gear
 

Agreed. I like the plugins though...just don't know if that makes all the hasle worthy...
Old 29th November 2011
  #26
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
And let's not even get into high end call girls and blow, which are very difficult to support on today's reduced recording budgets.

Seriously. THEN they have the nerve to get offended when I ask if they can throw in some free herpes.

What is this world coming to?
Old 29th November 2011
  #27
Lives for gear
 

People can just buy a nomad factory bundle or download the free blue cat bundle,and leave these high quality Plugins to the big boys.


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Old 29th November 2011
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mixonlyITB View Post
People can just buy a nomad factory bundle or download the free blue cat bundle,and leave these high quality Plugins to the big boys.
Thanks for the Blue Cat tip, looks cool.
Old 29th November 2011
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbgear View Post
Thanks for the Blue Cat tip, looks cool.
Welcome,how do they sound I haven't tried them yet...

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Old 1st December 2011
  #30
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mixonlyITB View Post
People can just buy a nomad factory bundle or download the free blue cat bundle,and leave these high quality Plugins to the big boys.
to make a long story short :

it would be true if UAD always have been designed for big boys, wich is not the case

the success of the plateform is due to the large hobbyist customers base and very fair prices that lets UA the ability to sign partnership with famous companies,

then pro (who considered plugins as toys ) begin to understand how serious UAD was

and prices go up to infinity.
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